EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul The Gambia: TAF Africa Global Limited joined the private sector initiative to strengthen a ‘major’ health facility as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19 in the Gambia.
The pan African real estate developer on Tuesday channeled a two-million-dalasi contribution through the Gambia Chamber of Commerce, GCCI for refurbishment of the old Ndebaan clinic in Bakau.
The health facility which has ceased to operate following the collapse of former president Yahya Jammeh’s alternative treatment programme will now be reactivated as one of the major treatment centres within the Greater Banjul Areas for cases of the COVID-19.
Gambia’s Ministry of Health estimates the cost of total renovation of the clinic to ten million dalasi, a reason for which TAF has diverted all funds for its development foundation to this cause.
Mustapha Njie, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TAF Africa Global Limited noted that the global pandemic has become everyone’s problem so that his institution has chosen to partner with government on the crusade.
“As part of our cooperate social responsibility, we have diverted all our funds which we had used before mainly on youth development, in fighting COVID-19”, he said.
Having come closer to the its private sector telethon target, the GCCI will likely move the bar bit further to allow more industries to plan ahead of the worst-case scenario of the COVID-19.
Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Alieu Secka said the initial COVID-19 challenge was to mobilise twenty million dalasi out of which eighteen million was already achieved.
“The generous donation of TAF Global of two million takes us to the budget of twenty million that we had planned but I should mention that the challenge and the peak we were told is yet to arrive.”
Founded in 1990, TAF Africa Global Limited is a pan African real estate development company with presence in eight African countries and dominance in Nigeria and The Gambia.
More Cases Of COVID-19
The Gambia could see more than 100, 000 coronavirus cases in the next three months, according to a special committee at National Assembly including health experts set up as part of the country’s broad response to the pandemic.
The country’s Minister of Health said 1000 hospital beds are being set up in response to the projection.
“There is a projection which suggests if The Gambia reaches [its] peak, we expect three thousand hospitalizations, which is a huge number,” Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh told a press briefing on Friday.
“We are trying to get a thousand hospital beds ready just for emergency, and to increase the number as and when we need them.”
On Sunday, The Gambia confirmed one new case of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to ten, out of which, seven are receiving treatment.
However, Dr. Samateh warned Gambians and non-Gambian residents “not to be complacent” about the new coronavirus (officially named COVID-19), a contagious respiratory disease which emerged from China’s city of Wuhan in mid-December 2019.
So far, The Gambian population of 2.3 million has seen fewer cases of the Covid-19 virus, but Dr. Samateh said people should be aware that countries, where the virus has a foothold, started with only few cases, before they began seeing an explosion in new cases and deaths.
The Gambia’s projected peak infections were made based on studies on the trends and patterns of the coronavirus outbreak in other countries and on various models devised by various expert groups.
“So, those figures are based on those projections [and] we are getting prepared,” said Dr. Samateh, who admitted that “our health system is weak and we pray we don’t to get a hundred thousand infections.”
He said it was important to strengthen the health system, get more people trained and put forward strategies to be able to deal with the expected high number of cases.
Global infections have reached more than 2.2 million people and over 152, 000 deaths since the outbreak began late last year.
Europe with more than a million confirmed cases and the Americas with nearly a million cases are the worst affected regions. Cases in the Africa region are about 14, 000 as on April 19, according to the World Health Organisation.